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AILASA 2020 Awards

AILASA Award for Best Monograph

The inaugural ‘AILASA Award for Best Monograph’ is awarded to Dr Stewart King, for Murder in the Multinational State: Crime Fiction from Spain (Routledge, 2019).


The award committee praised the work for its skilful advancement of scholarly debate beyond the immediate field of crime fiction, and for its contribution to literary studies and research on Spain more broadly. Murder in the Multinational State is distinguished by its careful navigation of the genre of crime fiction while simultaneously engaging in complex questions of national identities in modern Spain. King incisively uses the practices of reading and writing crime to unsettle our understanding of cultural identity in post-Franco Spain. This contribution to debate distinguishes the monograph from many others in the field of crime fiction, and is exceptionally timely in its treatment of contemporary Spanish identities. Written in a lively and engaging style, the book maintains a striking clarity of intent throughout.


AILASA Lifetime Achievement Award

The Awards Committee jointly awards the AILASA Lifetime Achievement Award to the Founding Presidents of AILASA, Dr Barry Carr and Dr Lilit Žekulin Thwaites. Dr Carr and Dr Thwaites have made invaluable individual contributions to their disciplines over their careers, as well as founding and fostering a vibrant community of scholars and scholarship on Iberian and Latin American studies.


Barry Carr worked at La Trobe University in Melbourne from 1972 until 2008 and served as Director of the university’s Institute of Latin American Studies for most of that period. In addition to his position at La Trobe he has held visiting professorships at many prestigious institutions, including the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California Berkeley, and the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies at the Australian National University. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia in 2009. Dr Carr’s research has focused predominantly on modern Mexico and Cuba. His major monographs include Marxism and Communism in Twentieth Century Mexico (University of Nebraska Press, 1992); and The Cuba Reader: History, Politics and Culture (co-edited and published in multiple editions by Duke University Press). His research has been published in the leading journals in Latin American Studies, such as The Americas, Journal of Latin American Studies, American Historical Review, and Hispanic American Historical Review. His recent edited work Australia and Latin America: Challenges and Opportunities in the New Millenium (ANU Press 2014) characteristically interrogates the deep connections between the two Pacific regions. The first president of the Network of Latin Americanists of Asia and Oceania (CELAO) as well as Founding President of AILASA, Dr Carr has created a legacy of vibrant research across Australia, Asia, and the Pacific. His work with AILASA has been

characterised by a deep personal commitment to the emergence of new talent in Iberian and Latin American Studies in Australasia across many decades. The organisation and generations of scholars across the region are deeply in his debt.


Lilit Žekulin Thwaites worked at La Trobe University from 1981 to 2011, during which time she held leadership positions as Head of the Spanish Department, Acting Chair of the University Human Ethics Committee, and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. In addition to her position at La Trobe, she has held visiting fellowships at leading institutions such as the University of Warwick and OMI New York. Dr Thwaites is a highly awarded translator and researcher, specialising in the work of women writers. She was the Winner of the AAWP-Ubud Writers and Readers Festival Translators Prize (2020), and has also recently received awards from the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards and the HISPANEX grant from the Spanish Government. Her translation of Antonio Iturbe’s The Librarian of Auschwitz has been recognised with multiple awards (2017 and 2018). Her translation of Tears in Rain (Amazon Crossing 2012) by Rosa Montero was recognised by World Literature Today as one of the 75 Notable Translations of 2012. She was awarded the

Spanish Order of Civil Merit by the King of Spain in 2016, for her contribution to the promotion of Spanish culture in Australia. This commitment continued in 2019 with the publication of Australian Connection (Estugraf Impresores), a bilingual anthology of short works by 15 Spanish writers who visited Australia. As Founding President of AILASA, Lilit Žekulin Thwaites’ contribution to the organisation is profound. Members have benefited deeply from her generous facilitation of contacts between Australian and New Zealand scholars, as well as through her extensive global network of professional collaborations. Her generosity and kindness to emerging scholars, and her leadership as one of Australia's foremost translators, provides a profound legacy for future generations.

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